Duck and Cover was a social guidance film produced in 1951 by the United States federal government's Civil Defense branch shortly after the Soviet Union began nuclear testing. Written by Raymond J. Mauer and directed by Anthony Rizzo of Archer Productions and made with the help of schoolchildren from New York City and Astoria, New York, it was shown in schools as the cornerstone of the government's "duck and cover" public awareness campaign. The movie states that nuclear war could happen at any time without warning, and U.S. citizens should keep this constantly in mind and be ever ready.
January 20, 2014 Subject:
A Bit of Deja Vu
I began kindergarten in 1969. A few times each year, all throughout elementary school, we had drills that taught us this exact technique if "the bomb" was coming. By that time, the bomb everyone feared was not atomic, but nuclear. When I was that young, I believed with all my little heart that huddling under my flimsy desk would save my young behind. I only remember one film (though I'm not sure in which grade I saw it) & it told us if we were not in school, we were to go immediately to the nearest bomb shelter where there were supplies for a certain number of people to stay there for a certain amount of time. Bomb shelters had a sign with a certain symbol much like the civil defense symbol shown at the end of this film. We were to memorize where our nearest shelter was. In my little midwestern town, where I still reside, the courthouse was nearest & it still has that sign to this day. I wonder if that shelter & supplies still remain there untouched. I'll have to ask a neighbor who would know. Anyway, I was in my first year of nursing school in 1983 when the film "The Day After" was shown on TV about what would truly happen if the US was hit by a nuclear bomb. It was filmed (& set) around the Kansas City, MO area which was the biggest city closest to my hometown & where, it just so happened, my nursing college was located. That movie is still so vivid in my memory. I think back to the film we saw in school & now this naive little film, & of the sheer chaos & terror "The Day After" would have caused if it were shown in those much simpler times.
Reviewer:Victor Von Psychotron
August 30, 2012 Subject:
Nothing short of brilliant
If you want to see how the atomic bomb scare was perceived in the 50's and 60's, look no further. I'm willing to bet one of the secret purposes of "duck and cover" was so that your teeth could be preserved for dental record identification after you'd been burned to a crisp.
April 30, 2012 Subject:
Typical Advice for the Masses
I watched every minute of this film...and could not keep myself from laughing! So much good advice is given, such as...
3:08 "...cover the back of your neck with your face."
Not sure how much protection a newspaper is against gamma rays. Perhaps it can be used as a sanitary...er...wipe to help us clean up after such a shocking event.
During the picnic scene, I expected the line, "Jim, those burgers have been seared to perfection, crisp on the outside, fully of juicy goodness, ready to be enjoyed by the entire family!"
Leaving a bicycle in the middle of the road is sure to lead to accidents. Poor little guy, being picked up my a complete stranger, being told he's quite safe.
Jumping off a tractor to take cover in front of a back wheel, especially when said tractor is likely to move forward over Farmer Brown in the blast of an atomic bomb, is not what I would call good advice.
Five stars for entertainment value! Haven't laughed this hard in years! : - D
August 10, 2008 Subject:
a refresher course? One would hope not.
I have goosebumps all over my arms. I have never actually watched the whole thing before. What a world. Special note to the statement that even a piece of newspaper can help prevent burns in an atomic explosion. What a world.
I dare you to watch the whole thing, thank god its not relevant anymore....?